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Thread: Modest 5.1 Setup.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Default Modest 5.1 Setup.

    This is my first post...

    I currently own some Ascend 200SE's and I plan to use them as surrounds. I recently purchased the 170's for the Main Left and Right speakers and I plan to use my existing center channel speaker for the time being to see how everything sounds. I have a klipsch 12" subwoofer that has done me well so far.

    I really wanted to jump on the Sierra 2EX speaker bandwagon after hearing all the glowing reviews, however my better half can't fathom spending that kind of money on speakers.

    I figured if the 170's don't suite my taste or the wifes it should be an easy sell to bump up the price bracket.

    We will be using a 20x23' space in conjunction with an Xbox One X. Basically 90% movies using the Xbox streaming Netflix with some blue rays from time to time and then 10% will be taken up by xbox gaming for the kiddos and music.

    The anticipating is killing me. I have a 5.1 setup in my living room that consists of in walls for the front sound stage and in ceiling speakers for surrounds. It's done us well, but no where near considered audio-fidelity. It's or main room we use for listening to music using multi channel stereo and watch tv from time to time.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Modest 5.1 Setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_guy View Post
    This is my first post...

    I currently own some Ascend 200SE's and I plan to use them as surrounds. I recently purchased the 170's for the Main Left and Right speakers and I plan to use my existing center channel speaker for the time being to see how everything sounds. I have a klipsch 12" subwoofer that has done me well so far.

    I really wanted to jump on the Sierra 2EX speaker bandwagon after hearing all the glowing reviews, however my better half can't fathom spending that kind of money on speakers.

    I figured if the 170's don't suite my taste or the wifes it should be an easy sell to bump up the price bracket.

    We will be using a 20x23' space in conjunction with an Xbox One X. Basically 90% movies using the Xbox streaming Netflix with some blue rays from time to time and then 10% will be taken up by xbox gaming for the kiddos and music.

    The anticipating is killing me. I have a 5.1 setup in my living room that consists of in walls for the front sound stage and in ceiling speakers for surrounds. It's done us well, but no where near considered audio-fidelity. It's or main room we use for listening to music using multi channel stereo and watch tv from time to time.
    Welcome to the Ascend owners's club! Please post pics when you have everything set up and let us know what you think!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Alaska
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    Default Re: Modest 5.1 Setup.

    Will do! Unfortunately I am still waiting for them to arrive. Hoping they are worth the wait!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Modest 5.1 Setup.

    I received my 200's today. After I got them plugged in and ran the setup on the AVR the wife and kiddo have been watching movies all night. I am using them as the Front Left and Right with a 12" sub. I have to say they sound VERY good. I wish the mid bass was a little more pronounced but overall super happy. They image GREAT. I can't wait until the 170's are here next week so I can see what those are all about.

    For the size those 200's pack way above what one would expect.

    Once the wife and kid get to bed I plan to stay up and listen to some music.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Modest 5.1 Setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_guy View Post
    I received my 200's today. After I got them plugged in and ran the setup on the AVR the wife and kiddo have been watching movies all night. I am using them as the Front Left and Right with a 12" sub. I have to say they sound VERY good. I wish the mid bass was a little more pronounced but overall super happy. They image GREAT. I can't wait until the 170's are here next week so I can see what those are all about.

    For the size those 200's pack way above what one would expect.

    Once the wife and kid get to bed I plan to stay up and listen to some music.
    Very happy to hear that you are enjoying them!!
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    .
    .
    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  6. #6
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    Sep 2019
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    Alaska
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    Default Re: Modest 5.1 Setup.

    Received my 170's today! Ran Audessey and set them up for some 2.1 channel music to compare against the 200SE's. Everything I was missing in the 200's the 170's have! I am grinning ear to ear! I had the wife come check them out (she is a singer but weirdly enough she usually isn't a fan of speakers). I was playing some blues and she came in with a huge grin on her face. She looked around the room and said "where are the big box speakers?". She couldn't believe these little bookshelves were producing the sound dynamics that were coming out of them.

    The 200's are great speakers but due to my big room 20x23', the 200's just couldn't produce a big enough sound stage. The other issue was for them to image well you really had to be in the sweet spot in my room. The 170's soundstage is MUCH bigger and they basically image anywhere in the room. I walked all the way to the back corner of one side of the room and walked around and I literally couldn't hear a difference. The sound always sounds like its coming from the center of the screen. The sound stage and imaging is unbelievable at this price point!

    My brother in law has some paradigm floor standers and those have been my base of decent speakers for a long time... I would have to hear his in an A/B comparison to give better feedback, but just listening to these I would say these play every bit as good as his floor standing speakers if not better!

    My receiver is a cheap $250 denon. It only does 5.1 and doesn't do the typical - volume to 0, it goes from 0 (lowest) to 100 (highest) for volume level. At about 60 on my receiver these speakers are screaming. I was debating on the 340's but these 170's have PLENTY left in them! If I was to turn it up to 70 on my receiver it would concert level loud!

    I am waiting on my surround speaker stands to ship and then I will get a picture of my converted garage setup.

    I AM a VERY happy man!

    You are SERIOUSLY doing some amazing work. I live in Alaska and shipping costs are horrid so I rarely buy anything online if it can't be returned to Amazon. Let's just say I am far above impressed.

    Now I guess I need to know what I am missing if I was to jump up to some Sierra 1's from these 170's.

    Is the sierra line as big of a jump that I was seeing from the 200SE's to the 170's?

    I imagine I would gain a little more bass out of the Sierra?

    I am crossing over at 80hz and have speakers set to small.
    Last edited by Alaska_guy; 10-01-2019 at 01:40 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
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    Default Re: Modest 5.1 Setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_guy View Post
    Received my 170's today! Ran Audessey and set them up for some 2.1 channel music to compare against the 200SE's. Everything I was missing in the 200's the 170's have! I am grinning ear to ear! I had the wife come check them out (she is a singer but weirdly enough she usually isn't a fan of speakers). I was playing some blues and she came in with a huge grin on her face. She looked around the room and said "where are the big box speakers?". She couldn't believe these little bookshelves were producing the sound dynamics that were coming out of them.

    The 200's are great speakers but due to my big room 20x23', the 200's just couldn't produce a big enough sound stage. The other issue was for them to image well you really had to be in the sweet spot in my room. The 170's soundstage is MUCH bigger and they basically image anywhere in the room. I walked all the way to the back corner of one side of the room and walked around and I literally couldn't hear a difference. The sound always sounds like its coming from the center of the screen. The sound stage and imaging is unbelievable at this price point!

    My brother in law has some paradigm floor standers and those have been my base of decent speakers for a long time... I would have to hear his in an A/B comparison to give better feedback, but just listening to these I would say these play every bit as good as his floor standing speakers if not better!

    My receiver is a cheap $250 denon. It only does 5.1 and doesn't do the typical - volume to 0, it goes from 0 (lowest) to 100 (highest) for volume level. At about 60 on my receiver these speakers are screaming. I was debating on the 340's but these 170's have PLENTY left in them! If I was to turn it up to 70 on my receiver it would concert level loud!

    I am waiting on my surround speaker stands to ship and then I will get a picture of my converted garage setup.

    I AM a VERY happy man!

    You are SERIOUSLY doing some amazing work. I live in Alaska and shipping costs are horrid so I rarely buy anything online if it can't be returned to Amazon. Let's just say I am far above impressed.

    Now I guess I need to know what I am missing if I was to jump up to some Sierra 1's from these 170's.

    Is the sierra line as big of a jump that I was seeing from the 200SE's to the 170's?

    I imagine I would gain a little more bass out of the Sierra?

    I am crossing over at 80hz and have speakers set to small.
    Excellent - I am happy to hear that you are enjoying the speakers!

    In many regards, I would say the performance jump from the CBM-170SE to the Sierra-1 is a larger jump than from the 200's to the 170's. However, much depends on your personal preferences. I would say the most noticeable differences are in dynamics, bass extension and punch, imaging and overall musicality - with the Sierra-1 sounding warmer, more musical and a bit less analytical compared to the brutally honest CBM-170's. Hope this makes sense....
    .
    .
    .
    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Modest 5.1 Setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by davef View Post
    Excellent - I am happy to hear that you are enjoying the speakers!

    In many regards, I would say the performance jump from the CBM-170SE to the Sierra-1 is a larger jump than from the 200's to the 170's. However, much depends on your personal preferences. I would say the most noticeable differences are in dynamics, bass extension and punch, imaging and overall musicality - with the Sierra-1 sounding warmer, more musical and a bit less analytical compared to the brutally honest CBM-170's. Hope this makes sense....
    Thanks Dave. I managed to snag a set of used sierra1's and plan to move my 170's to the rear. I would have loved to purchase directly from you, but when things come available in Alaska it makes sense to snag them locally if possible as shipping is a killer here.

    I found turning my sub off was the key to get music to sound much better. My ported sub was muddying the sound. I also found that facing my speakers directly straight forward instead of toe-in helped widen the sound stage. The 170's and 200's seem very critical or precise speakers. I have a feeling the sierra's are going to be a bit more musical but perhaps maybe a bit warmer? I think I will absolutely love them if that is the case.

    Things I have learned just comparing to some other speakers... I highly prefer the precise/accurate sound of the ascend 170/200 lineup for Home theater. I feel dialog and every other aspect of movies are super easy to hear and very clear. With my 12" subwoofer enabled and being a ported design I normally have the gain set to 12 o clock. The sub hits pretty good and having speakers that can cut through the bass really helps with Home Theater!

    I find the opposite true with music. I prefer to turn my sub almost all the way off as the sub provides too much bass and ruins the listening experience for music when in 2.1 mode. The 170's for me personally are just a tad bright or analytical. Not sure how to describe it other than I feel I am missing some overall musical balance as the 170's bass isn't bad but I wouldn't describe it as great. I would say just below good on a scale. Granted they are a bookshelf speaker and comparing apples to apples the bass is pretty darn good for an 8ohm bookshelf of its size!

    I told the wife the Sierra's would be the last speaker I bought this year as she is worried I will be upgrading to the 2ex! Good thing she didn't realize 2020 is only a few more months away!

    These are by far the most accurate speakers I have ever owned. Not having any personal experience with the Sierra lineup I can tell you if someone asked me today what speakers to buy for strictly home theater there is no other speaker I would recommend for the price point. The 170's are absolutely outstanding for this purpose!

    My brother in law is running Paradigm Monitor 7 floor standers and all paradigm for his setup. His surrounds sound anemic compared to my 200's. His floor standers do put out more bass and are warmer, but for movies/tv it is also hard to hear dialog sometimes and I feel when watching tv/movies it just sounds muddy compared to my ascends.

    My father has Boston Acoustics CR8 speakers I believe from the 90's?

    http://www.hifi-review.com/140110-bo...stics-cr8.html

    A comparison isn't even warranted. These things sound horrible and distorted. Yes, they can play LOUD in his setup but it sounds just absolutely horrid. And playing loud is about all they do.

    After comparing other speakers this weekend of family lets just say I would take the ascend 170's or 200's any day of the week. I listen to way more music now with your speakers. I only intended maybe 20-30% would be music listening and I am a good 50-60% music now.

    Great work and I can't wait to get the Sierra1's setup!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
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    Default Re: Modest 5.1 Setup.

    Enjoy!!!!
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    .
    .
    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

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